On Australia Day, celebrate don’t hate; Australia Day commentary
by Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, a Councillor on Alice Springs Town Council
“ Not once! Not one time have I seen The Greens or labor speak out, not once have I seen you Indigenous cohorts speak out! Not once! You have never spoken out about stopping the violence, stopping the alcoholism, stopping the child abuse and sexual assault, no, you just want to talk about how “White man” has some how oppressed you. Oppressed you? Excuse you! Most of you leading the pack are well educated, had opportunities some of us only dare dreamed about, you manipulate the mobs, especially the ones less educated or fortunate for your own selfish white hating reasons! Shame on you! Shame shame shame!
I grew up in a violent alcohol fuelled family filled with some of the most abhorrent acts committed upon my mother, upon myself. My childhood wasn’t living, it was surviving from one day to the next. I don’t remember a great Christmas, a birthday that didn’t turn violent a night where I didn’t hide under my blankets hoping that he wouldn’t come into my room. That leads me to ask where were you?
When I was 6 years old, yes SIX, I had my first nervous breakdown, I couldn’t take it anymore and my mind and body gave up, my soul withered and I was but a shell of my former self, but where were you? Were you speaking up for me? Were you there to stop the real oppression the real danger to my life? A lot of you were children yourself but where were the older ones? The mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles? The politicians? The outstretched hand? No you weren’t there!
Where were you when I watched my mother get raped and bashed until you couldn’t recognise who she was? Where were you when he held us all hostage and tried to cut our throats? Where were you when I faced an onslaught of sexual abuse? Where were you when he chased us down and tried bashing my mothers head in with a bullroarer?
Where were you when almost every night in my house something violent happened? Where were you when he’d sneak into my room like a thief in the night to steal my childhood?
Where were you the first time I tried to kill myself aged 9?
There’s so much more and it would take me a week to write it down, but where were you? You weren’t there and you still aren’t there! Luckily for me my grandmother was there, eventually my mother threw me away when I was sexually assaulted yet once again, this time by an “uncle” there was more than one offender that hurt me, I lost count, now that’s sad. Can you change all the dates I was hurt?
You cry and you scream about changing the date while there are children like me, little boys and girls living the same life I did as a child, living in constant fear of violence and sexual abuse. No, white man didn’t oppress me, white man didn’t commit those repulsive abhorrent acts, white man failed me in the way that he failed to take me and my brother away from my mother. But we mustn’t talk about the real issues effecting the indigenous community to this day! To this very day! Is it racist to speak out? NO! You professional victims cry about a date while real victims suffer horrors only seen in nightmares or in a movie, no, that’s not accurate, the greatest horror writer on the planet would cringe if he heard my story, the story of children still suffering today.
You say it’s “racist” to even speak of these issues, it’s not racism, it’s realism.
I have no time for you and your virtue signalling change the date crap. Your voice is only loud when you want to play the victim.
My grandmother an indigenous elder tried so hard to take me off my mother when I was a baby, but no, the authorities wouldn’t do that as it would be racist so they left me to suffer but I didn’t let that stop me, I didn’t let the abuse and poverty get in my way. Yes I did become an alcoholic when I was 13 it was easy to deal with the pain, then one day I woke up, I was 16 I decided I was not going to let the past destroy my future, I swore to myself I would never turn out like my mother, but I did, for 3 brutal years I did, for 3 brutal years I’d send my babies away out of danger so it was only me, was it racism that drove the police and DOCS to threaten to take my babies if I didn’t leave?
Was it racism that saw them drag him away so the kids and I could pack and flee?
No, that was humanity, that was addressing the issue, racism didn’t play a part, they didn’t see colour, they seen violence and terror the only difference is there was no grog, no drugs, he did it because he enjoyed it.
So while you’re sitting there with your privilege screaming about changing the date,
I’ll be sitting here with no privilege except for what I’ve given to myself and I’ll be speaking out about the real issues and fighting for justice for myself and for every other child that is a mirror of me.
Personally I’ll keep the date, some of the good memories I have is from that date, you see I spent most Australia Days with my nan, she would have BBQ’s where family and friends would get together and play cricket and laugh, us kids would play and play, I never wanted those days to end.
My nan always taught me that it was about unity not division, she taught me not to hate, she told me stories of old passed down and from her own memories, she taught me not to hate the people of today for the sins of yesterday, my nan was all about love and without her I wouldn’t be the strong proud woman I am today.
On Australia Day, celebrate don’t hate.
* That’s all I have to say, I’m getting too upset, the memories of the past never fade to a living victim, a real victim, but we go on, stronger louder and prouder.